Let's talk about culture shocks!

A month ago, I moved to Taipei and I want to share with you 3 culture shocks that I had since I arrived here:

  • Some people asked me what kind of blood type I am. At first, I thought it was really odd because it’s something we never do in Italy, then some friends explained me that asking for blood type is a way to understand how compatible you are with that person. I found it very interesting!
  • In Taipei there’re no bins in the streets!!
  • People still use cash a lot

What are the culture shocks that struck you the most?

It sounds like Taipei is like Japan too :eyes: When I was in Japan, I was also shock that there’s not a single trash can in the street, and it’s still a cash-based society. There are coins usage even, that’s what made me shocked the most. The blood type thingy is apparently quite common and popular, but I personally have never been asked that question. I still don’t remember what’s my blood type is lol.

Another cultural shock that I had during my time in Japan was, as ironic as it sounds, silent movie theaters :joy: Japanese people respects peace and quiet and try their best not to bother other people, yes. But it shocked me when they didn’t even make any sound when watching blockbusters like Avenger Endgame or Spiderman :joy:

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Ahahah this is interesting!

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This!! Carrying around an empty bottle for what feels like hours :rofl:

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ikr you understand it :joy: I carried a bag pack all the time so my hands can be free

The no trash can in sight I experienced in Seoul. At that point I have not yet been to Taipei so I didn’t know it was common in multiple cities/countries!

I’ve had many culture shocks in China, especially my first semester there, but @Holly-Le what you said about silent movie theaters made me think about this one: it is the absolute opposite over there :laughing: first time I went to the movies in China, people didn’t put their phone on silent mode so it would ring, and they would answer it and have a full on conversation INSIDE, not whispering either.

Thankfully it was not always like that but still it seemed like a common occurence.

Also, same thing in the train. If you ever take the train in France to go places you’ll notice how quiet and silent everything is. People take advantage of this “quiet” time to rest. In China in the “slow trains”, it is very lively, everyone chatting, playing games, eating etc which was a big culture shock, but it was a great opportunity to practice speaking!


One thing in Malaysia that shock me is the food. They eat rice with something like sweet dried plum. In Vietnam, we eat sweet dried plum as a snack

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Definitely a culture shock on last Wednesday with a BIG BIG Earthquake in Taipei, Hualien, Yilan! One could easily differentiate between people who are visiting and people who live here just by their response on the earthquake.

For people who had just arrived in the city, definitely a culture shock (pun intended :joy:)

It was my very first earthquake and I got really scared. Then went out after the aftershock was finished and everyone was just walking to work as usual, nothing out of the ordinary, definitely a new culture shock for me

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OK, yes, I am fat. But in Dalian, it was a shock to have someone ask me “Why are you so fat?” Being a bit naughty, I replied, "Because I like to eat Chinese food " :wink:

Once, on a bus in Lushun, a little girl asked me, in very polite Chinese, if I was Santa Claus And of course, I told her yes.


This reminds me of my last earthquake experience in Japan 2 years ago. I’ve experienced more than 10 earthquakes but the last one was the strongest like a magnitude of 6, and I was alone at midnight at the moment. I rushed outside after the shaking stopped only to find I’m the only one in the street. Japanese people do not go outside of their house unless there are damages. It’s definitely a culture shock to me.

-Yes ! In Tapei I as well often searched for pins, later on I knew it and collected my trash.
Sometimes I went into MRT station to get rid of, but sometimes you had to pass the cash desk to get to the pins!:joy:
-Sometimes when people didnt know I understand Mandarin , they talked about me: 她的头发黄啊!but I didnt reply! My fair hair was to the most people super strange!
-And they like to eat this cake made of pigs blood, some tastes are very unusual , I am not used to!:partying_face:
But everybody in Taipei was so friendly, I could ask anybody for help! Its one of my favorite cities!

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Many Asian cities are extremely clean, but I experienced the opposite when I visited China back in 1986 and 1987. People had no concerns about throwing plastic garbage into the lake, and after lunch on the train, everyone tossed the styrofoam trays out the window.

I was also bothered by smoking on the train! When I tried to open the window for some fresh air, one of the smokers complained to me that the cold air might be bad for his small children. (This was during summer!)

Meanwhile, for my Vietnamese relatives who recently moved to the United States, toilet paper was a big culture shock!

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I spent a month in Taiwan and left 2 days before the earthquake :hear_no_evil::face_with_spiral_eyes: Waking up to the news was a shock.

One negative culture shock I had is how common it is for people (almost always men tbh, from my experience women try to be quiet) to sniffle VERY LOUDLY instead of blowing their nose. Like, you can hear them swallowing the snot from across the room. A guy kept doing it every 5 seconds at my hotel breakfast, which was driving me crazy and made me feel so disgusted I was close to getting up and passive-aggressively handing him tissues…

Worst culture shock? Battling with all the ayi to get on a bus in Dalian. Those ladies really know how to use their elbows!

This is actually wild :rofl:

These examples are just superb :rofl: :rofl:

That’s just crazy! I’m glad things have changed since :sweat_smile:

I also remember the smoking everywhere in Beijing in 2011, especially in the elevators! But I don’t remember seeing ppl smoking inside recently, so maybe there are new rules and regulations for that

Back to China and the spitting never gets easier to handle :upside_down_face:


Something small, but – we do not have cold water at my job! Just room temperature or hot, for health reasons. I’ve gotten used to it after three years though :joy:

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